Monday 29 July 2019

Brading Roman Villa, Isle of Wight

We had a lovely week in the Isle of Wight earlier this month, and another of the places that we really enjoyed visiting was Brading Roman Villa, so I thought that I'd share what we got up to. Brading Roman Villa is considered one of the finest Roman sites in the UK, and is mainly preserved undercover so it's a good choice for a rainy day. We paid £25 for a family ticket and our visit lasted for a few hours.

The West Range of the Villa is preserved in the museum, with walkways so that you can have a good look around it. Outside you can see the North and South Ranges marked out with chalk outlines as well as a Roman garden. I must confess that we felt that the mosaics aren't as spectacular as some that we've seen elsewhere, but the layout of the museum gave you a good overview of the structure of the villa, and there was plenty of artist's impressions and information to help you understand how the villa would have looked in Roman times.

Brading Roman Villa mosaics indoors

The children are both interested in the Romans, and thanks to studies at school and their own reading they are able to identify characters from the myths and legends that they could spot in the mosaics, as well as identifying different objects from Roman life. But when visiting a museum like this they do need to have some additional child friendly activities to keep them interested, and luckily Brading Roman Villa provided quite a few of these. 

Children doing a mosaic activity at a Roman Villa

They spent ages working on these mosaics, and behind them you can see a toy model of a Roman villa which they also enjoyed looking at, with Mia desperate to recreate one for herself when we got home!

Brading Roman Villa kids activities

There were also dressing up costumes, and various puzzles to complete as you went around, like reassembling the layers of artefacts excavated from the well on site. This also meant that us adults could spend time reading the information boards without interruptions!

Dressing up as Romans

The children also loved creating some different realistic and mythical Roman figures, and putting together a large jigsaw puzzle representing one of the mosaics on the floor. These activities really kept them interested as we explored the remains, and definitely meant that we made the most of our visit.

There was a special exhibition running during our viist, Hoards, which was included in the entrance price. It's a touring exhibition featuring various hoards of valuable objects which have been discovered, and there were some fascinating objects and stories behind them to learn about.

Brading Roman Villa activities for children

We visited on a Saturday and we didn't see any other children, which makes me think that perhaps the villa is marketed more towards an adult audience. But if your children are studying the Romans at school or just generally interested in Roman history, then I'd recommend a visit to the villa.

Related post - Tapnell Farm Park, Isle of Wight

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